Callie Aberle and Stacey Witt both inked their signatures to a letter of intent, joining the University of Hawai‘i-Hilo volleyball team.
“They’re absolutely great kids,” Feather River coach Sarah Ritchie said. “It has been absolute joy coaching them. We got them here and they both were just awesome for us. They were just solid, all-around players for us.
“They’re great kids. They’re fun and they come and work hard every day. Just awesome kids.”
For the two best friends, the signing ceremony signified the culmination of all their time and dedication to the sport.
“To me it’s just all my hard work paying off,” Aberle said. “It means a lot to me because I know I’m making my family and friends proud. It was just a really important day to me.”
Witt, who captained the Golden Eagles, shared the same sentiments.
“It just feels like all the hard work has paid off,” she said. “I’m just so thankful for everybody who supported me and got me this far.”
While there were plenty of schools interested in Aberle and Witt, they both said there was something special that stood out about Hawai‘i-Hilo.
“It seems like an amazing place to continue my adventure,” Witt said. “It just seems like a place where I can step out of my comfort zone to experience something that just seems like it will be a really great experience for me.”
For Aberle, an All-State, All-Nor Cal and All-Conference player at Feather River in 2012, it was the complete package that the university offered that sealed the deal for her.
“It’s Hawaii. It’s a full-ride scholarship and the school has my major. My best friend is going,” Aberle listed off. “Just all of it combined, it’s a great deal for me.
“To be able to still play with Stacey means the world to me. We’re basically sisters, so really that is anyone’s dream. Ever since we were in high school we’ve talked about what it would be like to go to college together. Then we ended up at Feather River together and we started to wonder what it would be like to play beyond this level and somehow it worked out every single time. It’s just been an amazing experience. I’m really excited I got this opportunity.”
Along with their excitement to join the Vulcans volleyball squad, Aberle and Witt are also excited to hit the island of Hawai‘i.
“We’re going to be in warm weather by the ocean,” Aberle exclaimed. “It’s like a dream to me.”
Witt shared in the anticipation.
“I’m just really happy that I get to keep playing the sport that I love, especially with Callie. I’m very lucky to have been able to play with my best friend for so long. We’ve played together for a long time now and it’s just amazing that we’ve gotten to stay together. And obviously being in Hawaii sounds pretty good at this point too.”